Currently, an answer can be flagged as “very low quality”: enter image description here

This often happens when an answer is very short. Most of the time, this means that the author has put forth a response based either on opinion or undisclosed research. We recognize that this sort of answer is not very useful to the person asking the question or to people with similar issues visiting later.

The next step in the process is a vote on whether or not to delete the answer, and this includes the option to leave a comment for the post's author. I'm a big fan of this option because it's a better experience to know why something was deleted, and it's an opportunity to help people write better answers in the future. Unfortunately, none of the current options address this common case of unsubstantiated answers with insufficient details:

enter image description here

What I do in this case is write my own comment off the cuff, such as I did here:

This answer would be better with substantiation (authoritative source linked and quoted) and/or examples of usage crafted to provide clarification of meaning via context.

I don't think this is ideal. It's not very clear, and doesn't provide any resources. I propose that we as a community put in place a standard response for this case that is clear, supportive, and provides a helpful resource.

I would have provided a link to the How do I write a good answer? page of the help section, but I don't find it very helpful in its current form. In my opinion, much of the information there is, ironically, not a good answer to the question in the page's title.

There is, I suppose, the question of whether or not these sorts of VLQ answers should even be deleted. In another, similar case, I decided to edit the answer rather than vote for its deletion. This didn't seem to be ideal either. For one thing, it's a major change that introduces a lot of new content that the answer's original author didn't come up with. On the same question, I left a comment on an answer that was deleted. I'm open to discussion of other ways of dealing with these sorts of answers, but based on everything above I believe we are already set on deleting them and need a comment for this case.

  • This might be a better question for Meta Stack Overflow. Your point is valid, but I believe the screen you show here is a standard SE screen, not an ELL screen.
    – J.R. Mod
    Apr 20, 2014 at 15:49
  • @J.R. It's Meta Stack Exchange now.
    – user230
    Apr 22, 2014 at 7:49
  • I'm fine migrating this post if people feel it pertains to all sites. I only really hang around this one SE, so I'm not sure. I'm open to edits as well, especially if we're going to get it migrated. Apr 22, 2014 at 15:56


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